Blumenauer works to expunge sentences for marijuana offenders – KATU
PORTLAND, Ore. — Federal marijuana offenders may soon get their record cleared, a move that’s already happened at the state level.
“We have people who have on as a part of their record the most minor of things, that are legal now that will stay with them for a lifetime,” said Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR 3rd).
Rep. Blumenauer has been at the forefront of trying to expunge the sentences of marijuana offenders, he’s hoping to get support from his congressional colleagues.
“Having a mechanism to expunge that I think is important for the federal government to be a partner with these states and not have people trapped in that legal limbo,” Rep. Blumenauer said.
The issue is while pot is legal in Oregon and Washington, federally it is illegal.
Blumenauer’s bill calls for clearing the federal records of marijuana offenders charged federally with a crime in a state where pot was legal at the time.
It also wants to expunge the record for people who had on them an ounce or less of pot, even in states where it remains illegal.
Blumenauer hosted a round table discussion about the issue in downtown Portland Monday morning.
He was joined by state representatives, as well chief Measure 91 writer Anthony Johnson, and Aaron Brown from the Bus Project.
The Bus Project helped put pressure on leaders in Salem, asking them to pass a bill that expunged sentences for minor marijuana offenses in Oregon.
“They’re not just sentenced and they serve their time,” said state Rep. Lew Frederick, (D) Portland. “They end up serving a lot more than that because it effects their ability to get a job or get an apartment because they made a mistake as a young person.”